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'Castle' 'In the Belly of the Beast' recap: So much more than she expected

'Castle' season 6 episode 17 "In the Belly of the Beast"
'Castle' season 6 episode 17 "In the Belly of the Beast"
ABC/Nicole Wilder

Beckett goes undercover as a low-level courier in the Monday, March 3 episode of "Castle," "In the Belly of the Beast," but she gets a lot more than she expected.

Heaven interrupted Beckett makes the mistake of spending just a bit too long being happy about her day off and making plans to "convince" Castle to choose the font she wants for their "Save the Date" cards because Gates calls and interrupts their case-free bubble to call her in – and only her.

So much for being a low-level courier Captain Fowler, the head of Narcotics, needs someone who matches a low-level courier Elena Markov's description and speaks fluent Russian to go undercover to take down a new drug ring after six dealers were found with their throats cut. Elena said she just delivered packages, but she tried to kill herself after reaching out to them, so they need Beckett to go as her for a meeting about a promotion. However, Beckett disappears from the elevator on the way up to the meet at a hotel, and she's thrown into a van.

The guy who took Beckett wonders what's so special about her and tells her to "drop the act" when she says she just moves packages. She's brought in to meet another man, who introduces himself as Mr. Jones and the other man as Mr. Harden once she passes his test. He offers her $50,000 a week to work for them permanently (what exactly did Elena do for them?), and when she insists on meeting Lazarus, the head of the organization, first, he tells her she'll stay with them while he checks with Lazarus. When Harden pulls Jones outside to express his suspicions about "Elena," Beckett takes advantage of the time alone to get a call to Esposito that Elena's story is a lie and to grab a pencil from a desk drawer. She leaves a letter for Castle behind a vent with her blood on it, knowing that if something happens to her, they'd tear the place apart.

However, back at the station, they can't trace her call and Fowler reveals that they didn't really dig that deep into her story because they didn't have the time. Plus, when they go to talk to her at the hospital, she's gone and the officer guarding her is dead, throat slit like the drug dealers. By then, Castle has joined them after being unable to reach Beckett. They're worried Beckett's cover is blown, but everything seems fine when Mr. Jones tells her that Lazarus has agreed to meet her – after she completes an assignment for him and kills a man. Elena's a contract killer.

Crime scene knowledge comes in handy Harden doesn't like it when Beckett tries to get information out of him about her target, and she really has no choice but to go in there and shoot him – so it's not connected to Elena's other murders – and then to show Harden the scene before leaving. The would-be target calls the police after they leave and tells them that she told him she was a cop and set the scene up using ketchup and beet juice. She also told him she was at a compound and she'd try to get a message out soon. But why does Lazarus want him dead? He doesn't know; he's just a corporate lawyer.

Beckett lucks out when a girl stumbles into the bathroom while she's getting cleaned up and leaves her phone out when she goes into a stall. She begins to send a text, but she's interrupted before she can say much, so all she sends is her badge number and "Addr is 5" and the phone's a burner so they can't even trace it. They have no idea how much trouble Beckett is really in because when she's taken to meet Lazarus, she comes face-to-face with someone who knows her: Vulcan Simmons.

Is Vulcan Simmons Lazarus? Beckett refuses to give in to him, even as he holds her head under ice water and threatens to make her pay for being where she doesn't belong like her mother did. "Wait until you see what I do to you," she threatens him. He has Harden take her out into the woods to bury her, but while Harden is too busy going on about how he had her made the moment he saw her, Elena comes up and kills Harden. "He sent me because he owed you," the killer says. Lazarus wants her to live.

Back at the station, Beckett finds out that Vulcan Simmons had an alibi for the night before, and the compound was empty by the time the police searched it. There's no evidence. However, Beckett did see a check to "Future Forward" for $50,000, and while the others look into that, she shares a sweet moment with Castle. "You were with me the whole time," she tells him. He kept her going.

Who's really Lazarus? So what is Future Forward? Well, there's someone out there laundering money to build a massive political war chest, and Beckett knows that Simmons isn't Lazarus or she'd be dead. There's someone bigger behind it, and as she watches Senator Bracken holding a news conference about his future, she realizes who's in charge. He has all the campaign funs he needs, and he let her live because she had saved him and he owed her. "Now, we're even. So the next time we see each other…"

"Castle" season 6 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC. What did you think of episode 17 "In the Belly of the Beast"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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